Wonky runways patchwork

I had a weird issue at NZFH – Fox Glacier’s airfield that seems to be used by a tour company. It had a couple of really steep hockey stick jumps in the middle. I thought I had screenshot it, but I can’t find it now.

Here’s a look at how X-Plane default scenery handles this:

It’s dead flat. Probably because it’s unuseable for some reason with the terrain modelling from the data, so they just flick a switch and smash it flat. I used to fix this by trying to change settings, or just using the brute force option of flattening the airport also.

Here’s a look at it on Google Maps:

Here’s a rough guide to the elevation profile:

The runway rises steadily and then towards the ramp at the end, it rises slightly more steeply.

No amount of smoothing or tweaks to Ortho4XP seemed to have any affect at all, so I decided to make a mesh patch for the runway and ramp.

In order to patch the mesh to smooth it out, I used a couple of tools:

Java Open Street Maps – a tool that lets you edit a patch together https://josm.openstreetmap.de/

Google Earth Pro – a powerful desktop tool to get a profile of the height of the ground to patch into the mesh using JOSM. https://www.google.com/earth/versions/

Patching together a simple array of polygons, here’s the result:

The ramp and buildings at the top site at 178 metres, with a little drop and then steady decline down to 150 metres.

If you know of other airports that are troublesome, let me know. If it needs fixing in my mesh, I’ll try to catch it.

Categories: Flight Simulation

6 replies

  1. You have the gradient just about spot on. We flew in there a few years ago.

  2. PS – at the real NZNP, there is a pretty significant hump on runway 23 near the threshold. This is absent in the gateway scenery created by Pikitanga.

  3. NZWN has the hump for sure.lol The northern most end ramps up (or down) steeply, depending on direction, and half way along watch out for the unforgiving speed type hump. (Try taking off from the southern end in a 737 and you’ll see what I mean.) In reality, there may be a gentle gradient but anything you can do to iron out the worst of wonky Welly’s humps, bumps, and lumps, would certainly come up trumps!lol Thanks.
    Love your work… beyond awesome.

  4. Genius! Wellington is de-wonked by the looks. NZWN definitely has the dip towards the middle, and I’m pretty sure the threshold looking south is initially flat then slopes, so if I’m interpreting your pics correctly… spot on! You are a star! Me and my usually nervous 737 passengers can’t thank you enough.lol

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